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Sustainable Energy – without the hot air. A Free book from David Mackay

We strongly recommend the book to anyone involved in renewable energy. It is a refreshing view on the role of renewable energy in our future … Truly informative, and best of all it’s free.


A few reviews of this book;

The quest for safe, secure and sustainable energy poses one of the most critical challenges of our age. But how much energy do we need, and can we get it all from renewable sources? David MacKay sets out to find the answer through a forensic numerical analysis of what we use and what we can produce. His conclusions starkly reveal the difficult choices that must urgently be taken and readers interested in how we will power our society in the future will find this an illuminating read. For anyone with influence on energy policy, whether in government, business or a campaign group, this book should be compulsory reading. This is a technically precise and readable account of the challenges ahead. It will be a core reference on my shelf for many years to come.

Tony Juniper
Former Executive Director, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) and Vice Chair, Friends of the Earth International

Common sense, technology literacy, and a little calculation go a long way in helping the reader sort sense from nonsense in the challenges of developing alternatives to fossil fuels. MacKay has provided a high priority book on a high priority problem.

William W. Hogan
Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

MacKay’s book is the most practical, solidly analytical, and enjoyable book on energy that I have seen. Through a grounded yet playfully quantitative approach, MacKay illuminates the daunting challenges associated with possible paths to sustainable energy. This heroic work gets the energy story straight, assessing the constraints imposed by physical reality that we must work within. In so doing, MacKay delivers creative and useful tools so that we may quantify, visualize, and compare our energy options on a personal scale, deciding for ourselves what adds up. Like cold water on the face, this book snaps us out of our fossil fuel delirium and makes it clear that we must get to work if we want to maintain an energy-intensive lifestyle.

Tom Murphy
Associate Professor of Physics,
UC San Diego



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